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Mice/Pinky mouse missing foot.


Hi Natasha,
One of my mice recently had her first litter of 8 babies. For the first week she was still in with the father of the litter, until we worked out a home for her and the babies on their own, and everything seemed ok, but we discovered one of the babies was missing a foot. He/she seems to be doing fine now at almost 2 weeks old, the stump sort of looks a little like a newborns bellybutton, with the little dried black bit in the middle of it (now much smaller than it was at first). It isn't red or swollen so I'm not worried about infection at this point.
I was just a little curious as to whether this might have been something the mother mouse had done? Is it common for mother mice to take chunks out of their young? Or can it happen accidentally during the birth?
Also, as the mice get older would this disability be a reason for the others to bully little Stumpy, should I keep an eye out for this?
Thanks for your help:)

Dear Ruth,

It is not uncommon for there to be some sort of nest accident where a baby loses a tail or limb. Luckily, mice are excellent at adaptation. Since Stumpy is in a cage and not running free, speed will not be an issue. In fact, one of my questioners ended up with a three-legged mouse she named Miracle; and Miracle won a hamster ball race at Petco!

The other positive thing about handicapped mice is that there is neither social stigma, nor personal dismay. The other mice will not care about Stumpy's looks; and neither will Stumpy. Stumpy will not ever think about how many legs s/he has; nor will s/he notice how many the others have.

The one issue is that Stumpy may be less capable of climbing. You don't mention if it is a hind leg or a foreleg. If it is a foreleg he may have trouble climbing up. If a hindleg, down may be the problem. It is possible that there will be no handicap at all; but please keep an eye out to see if s/he has any tendency to fall.

All in all, Stumpy should be fine. I always like the special ones. By the way, if Stumpy is a boy and missing a hind leg, don't assume he can't mate! If it is a foreleg that would be pretty difficult, since they use their arms to hold the females tight so they don't run away.

Males should always be removed before the birth of a new litter, since they can mate immediately after the birth. Even if you want another litter- and you just found out how hard it is to rehome baby mice (you and your adoptors know that males will likely end up each needing their own cages?), back to back litters are hard on mother does.

Enjoy your special little Stumpy!

Squeaks n giggles,



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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

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B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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